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Monday morning recovery

Join Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Tommy from Seward, AK:
I understand and agree with your philosophy on drafting big guys early and letting the less-premium positions take care of themselves later. I also agree with the idea that some players, such as Adrian Peterson, simply can't be held to that philosophy. That said, you are the Browns and, knowing what you know today, do you still take Joe Thomas over Peterson? I think I still would.

Vic: You said it beautifully. Some players, such as Adrian Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald, are exceptions to the rule. After what Peterson did to the Browns yesterday, I'm sure they wouldn't still take Thomas over Peterson. I wouldn't have in the first place because I had Peterson as the top player on my board. In my opinion, you had to be blind not to see it.

Kevin from Jacksonville:
I have another question about the balls. What does "The Duke" mean on the ball?

Vic: It was Wellington Mara's nickname.

Matt from Bloomington, IN:
The TV announcer is trying to say the Jaguars are using seven defensive backs right now, in the third quarter.

Vic: I can't remember when it was but, yes, there was a time when the Jaguars used a seven-DB package and the Colts turned hard to the run, with success. You're going to see a lot of that kind of chess-match stuff this season because the Jaguars don't have the personnel to line up and play it straight. Defensive Coordinator Mel Tucker attempted to pencil-whip the Colts with a seven-DB package, but former Colts offensive coordinator and now full-time/part-time/retired/pension-paid/consultant/still-coaching coach Tom Moore spotted it right away and exposed it.

Chris from Hays, KS:
Why was Rashean Mathis not the one guarding Reggie Wayne, who killed us?

Vic: It was enough that in his first professional game Derek Cox had to go against Peyton Manning and the Colts. He didn't need to make a position switch and all of the technique changes that go with it, too. Anywhere you put him, they were gonna find him. You could count on that. You might as well let him play where he was most comfortable. He's a better player today because of what happened yesterday. That's part of the growth process.

John from Savannah, GA:
The more things change, the more they stay the same, Vic. The inability by the defense to make third-down stops is what has hampered this franchise for the last seven years.

Vic: How about those 14 points? That's only the second time ever the Jaguars have held Manning to 14 or fewer points. To do what the Jaguars did on defense yesterday with the personnel they have is stunning. When was the last time Manning was held to 14 or fewer points? At Cleveland on Nov. 30, 2008, against Mel Tucker's Browns defense.

Paul from Jacksonville:
We had two rookie tackles going up against Freeney and Mathis. It seems like Koetter could have helped them out a bit by stretching the field so they didn't have their ears pinned back the whole time. Garrard could have helped by making quicker decisions and getting rid of the ball faster. Am I wrong?

Vic: You're not wrong when you say David Garrard would've benefitted by having made quicker decisions and getting rid of the ball faster. You are wrong when you say it would've helped by stretching the field because throwing the deep ball requires time to do it and Garrard didn't have that kind of time. When you throw deep, which requires a deep drop by your quarterback, you invite the pass-rush.

Mike from Jacksonville:
I am not quite sure if the question is an indictment of the Jaguars offense or defense, but why can opponents' receivers get impressive separation on pass plays and our receivers get little or none? In your opinion, is it the players or the scheme?

Vic: Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark are two of the league's best receivers. The Jaguars don't have a player who fits into the elite-receiver category. As the season progresses, so will this team. You'll see the pass-protection improve and you'll see young receivers develop their skills and the combination of the two will provide the separation you're seeking, but having Dwight Freeney in your backfield all day isn't the formula for creating separation.

Donal from Toronto, Canada:
Could you break down the play of the rookies in yesterday's game?

Vic: Eugene Monroe struggled. He knows he did, but having interviewed him after the game, I could tell he was already looking forward to a rematch with Freeney. That's supposed to occur on Dec. 17. I promise you, Monroe will be a much better player by then. He's a sensational talent who struggled with Freeney's spin move. He as much as admitted his concern for it last week when I asked him what Freeney's signature move is and Monroe said, "spin move." Eben Britton did just fine against Robert Mathis and Terrance Knighton was solid up front on defense. There are your major positives. Derek Cox had his problems with Reggie Wayne but the interception Cox made in the end zone is big time stuff. Hey, I saw Mel Blount get seal-clubbed by Paul Warfield when Blount was a young cornerback and Blount is considered by many to be the greatest cornerback of all time. The rookie I would've liked to see play on Sunday is Zach Miller. I think he would've been perfect for the game plan the Jaguars had. I think he would've been Dallas Clarkesque.

D.J. from Orlando, FL:
After watching Sunday's game, I fear Maurice Jones-Drew cannot withstand that type of punishment over 16-plus games. What do you think?

Vic: You're right about the pounding. Twenty-one rushes and five pass receptions is a heavy load. The Jaguars need to develop a complement back. Put that on Jack Del Rio's to-do list, too.

Ryan from Jacksonville:
What is there about Cox's performance the boxscore doesn't tell us?

Vic: What the boxscore doesn't indicate is that the Colts seldom looked anywhere else. Derek Cox was up against arguably the top pass-catch combination in the league and he had been targeted. Rashean Mathis will never have an easier day. In fact, Cox could cost Mathis a trip to the Pro Bowl because Mathis is unlikely to get enough opportunities to make the interceptions he'll need to get to the Pro Bowl. That's what the boxscore doesn't tell you. It doesn't tell you what the other team's game plan was. Here's another thing the boxscore doesn't tell you: On the 35-yard touchdown pass to Wayne, Cox bit hard on the play-action fake. Why? Because he's a rookie and because the Colts had some success running the ball to his side.

Eddie from Atlanta, GA:
I, for one, am really happy with what happened yesterday. As the game was being played, I feared that if the Jaguars won you'd be flooded with playoff and Super Bowl predictions this morning. It was a good effort for a rebuilding team and it kept expectations right where they should be. Low expectations equal high joy.

Vic: Absolutely. Be smart about this. Let coach Del Rio deal with the disappointment. He gets paid to do that. Keep your expectations where they should be and enjoy witnessing the growth and development of a young football team. That's the best advice I can give everyone.

Steve from Newnan, GA:
"John Henderson has been playing defensive end in place of Harvey. I don't know what that means. I have suspicions, though." Care to elaborate? Is Harvey just not an every-downs defensive end?

Vic: I can't elaborate at this time because I have no more information. We asked coach Del Rio about Harvey not getting much playing time in the second half and the response was: "That's a question I'll have to ask the staff. There was no reason he shouldn't have been in the game."

Lisa from Atlantic Beach, FL:
At your golf tournament you raved so much about Eugene that I went out and got a number 75 tattoo. Do I need to get it removed?

Vic: I never told you to get a tattoo. Now that you have, let it go. If I were you, I'd wear long sleeves for awhile and hope the weather turns unseasonably cool.

James from Jacksonville:
What's with the Troy Williamson stumble? Bigger play than people give credit?

Vic: The ball was right on target. It split the defenders beautifully. It was thrown right into the hole and on time. Williamson either didn't get there on time or was out of control. That's my assessment of the play but I could be wrong. A big play? It's a play that would've produced a first down and put the Jaguars in field goal range.

Jack from Jacksonville:
Good quarterbacks like Big Ben find a way to make plays with a shabby offensive line. Garrard steps back more times then he steps up. He's not very good.

Vic: Big Ben has Santonio Holmes, Hines Ward and Heath Miller.

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